Element 3D Custom Layers

There are several methods to convert 2D text into 3D inside of After Effects, but if you want more dynamic results, then use Element 3D. It has a Custom Layers option that converts your 2D Text Layer into a 3D bevel. You can also apply various textures and create very unique texts.

To those you are not familiar with Element 3D, it is an After Effects Plugin which works like a dedicated 3D program inside of Adobe After Effects.

element 3d

So, to create Bevel of your text layer, you need Element 3D installed inside your After Effects, then follow the steps I have mentioned below.

  1. Create a new composition, then create a new text layer by going into Layer > New >Text. This will create a new text layer.
  2. Now type in your text. Later we will assign this text layer into Element 3D to use it as a source layer.
  3. After you type in your text, create a new solid layer by going into Layer > New > Solid. Make sure the new solid is exactly of your composition size or dimensions.
  4. Now apply the Element 3D effect on the new solid layer you just created. You can find the Element 3D plugin by going into Effects > Video Copilot > Element.
  5. Under Element 3D settings, You will find Custom Layers options, expand it and then expand Custom text and Masks. Now, assign you text layer to Path Layer 1 as shown in the image below.
    Bevel element 3D
  6. Now simply disable your text layer by shutting off the eye button.
    Bevel element 3D
  7. Select the Solid Layer which contains the Element 3D effect and click on the Scene Setup button, this will open up the Element 3D program.Bevel element 3D
  8. Then click on the Extrude button and it will import your Text layer inside of Element 3D interface as a 3D object.
    Bevel element 3D
  9. You can control the look of the Bevel by changing the settings according to your satisfaction. If you want to apply a texture, use the presets which are available inside of Element 3D or import your own, simple drag and drop the texture on the Bevel. After that, click on OK at the top right corner. This will output the 3d text into your After Effects composition.
    Bevel element 3D
  10. Once you are done with creating the Bevel, use a camera layer to control the position or rotation of the layer around the 3D space.

You can also create 3D Logos with this technique. Create a mask of your Logo by using the Auto Trace feature and use that mask layer as a Custom Layer in Element 3D

Also See: How to create 3D Text in After Effects with Shatter Effect


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